Val Easton is a freelance horticulture writer of many important books on NW gardening and contributed greatly to our local and national understanding of plants. I had the good fortune recently of dragging her along on a bonsai safari through Beacon Hill. In the photo above we are debating whether that shrub is in the shape of a duck or some other unidentifiable object.
I hope she had as much fun as I had and at the very least I think she got a good sampling of the funky shrubbery that Beacon Hill has to offer. She is working on a piece about Beacon Hill's unusual shrubbery for the Seattle Times Pacific Northwest Magazine that will be coming out in a few weeks so hopefully our neighborhood will get some well deserved recognition for our unconventional yards.
Sadly, I didn't even notice this one at first. I was so enamored of the modernist forms of these well shaped shrubs contrasted against the classically mid century modernist architecture that I didn't even notice that one of them was actually a doughnut shape until someone pointed it out to me! Check out the detail image.
Sometimes artist try out different mediums than they usually use just to flex their creativity. I was reminded of this recently when I ran across these fantastic shrubs on the North East end of Beacon Hill. They reminded me of a mosaic floor that had been designed by famed NW painter Guy Anderson. Because mosaic is so different than paint it forced him out of his safety zone and although risky he came up with something truly unique and amazing. Obviously this bonsai sculpture is also pushing the limits of what a shrub can be asked to do as this yard artist has sculpted some meticulous edges to these fine forms. Truly a master crafts person at work!
I hate to drift away from my normal bonsai focus, but this house a few blocks south west of Jefferson Park seemed worthy of mentioning. I'm not sure where all of the treasures come from that adorn this mini-castle, but it looks as if someone has been plundering medieval palaces and displaying their hoard of loot right here on Beacon Hill. The good news is that they still have a large pile of stone on the side of the house waiting for their next project. If I got to vote I would say that this place needs a catapult or maybe even a dungeon. I wouldn't want to be the unwanted door to door salesman to come to this house, you might get hot oil poured on you from the ramparts.
Try to imagine that this is not the worst photo that I have ever taken. Just as I was going to take the photo the home owner came out and looked at me inquisitively. How could I explain why I was taking a photo of his shrub?
So use your imagination a little and you will understand that spring is in the air and even the Behi Bonsai are starting to blossom.
I know that there are a lot of great Beacon Hill Bonsai treasures out there still left for me to discover. But between my busy work schedule and our winters lack of sunshine I have been unmotivated to find new bonsai. So I'm going to try things the lazy way and offer a FREE BEHI BONSAI T-SHIRT to anyone that suggests a yard that can be included in the blog. Just let me know an address and description and I will take care of the rest. Mail your suggestions to behi.bonsai (at) gmail.com
***editors note*** thanks to the Beacon Hill Blog for the shout-out. But I thought I should clarify. I'm happy for all tips for bonsai treasures but you only get a free t-shirt if we feature your bonsai on the blog, so it better be pretty good. This is a limited time offer so act now!
Okay, you missed it already...contest closed...but you can always buy merchandise here.